Luke Maurits

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Inferring the mappings between words and their referents is a difficult problem that all language learners face. Similarly, learning which word orders are permitted in one's language is one of the first grammatical learning tasks these same learners must solve. We present a modeling framework which addresses simple versions of both of these problems by(More)
Languages vary widely in many ways, including their canonical word order. A basic aspect of the observed variation is the fact that some word orders are much more common than others. Although this regularity has been recognized for some time, it has not been well-explained. In this paper we offer an information-theoretic explanation for the observed(More)
The ordering of subject, verb, and object is one of the fundamental components of the syntax of natural languages. The distribution of basic word orders across the world's languages is highly nonuniform, with the majority of languages being either subject-object-verb (SOV) or subject-verb-object (SVO). Explaining this fact using psychological accounts of(More)
Humans have accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the course of many generations, implementing a kind of " cultural ratchet ". Past work has used models and experiments in the iterated learning paradigm to understand how knowledge is acquired and changed over generations. However, this work has assumed that learners receive extremely rich testimony from(More)
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